posted on April 26th, 2006 by Anthony

Rebooter Premium: SOLD OUT

So I fired up the old Sage this morning and I see this little doozy in the Reboot Blog.

And my thought was hmmmm.

Now I don’t want to bash Adam in any way. He has worked incredibly hard over the last year to run two successful Reboots, and the third one is looking to be the best yet.

I can totally understand wanting to get something back from the event.

I can totally understand the trouble of deciding the logistics of who gets on to the front page.

But I really can’t get my head around having to pay for the privilege of getting on there.

This is what – in Adams own words – the Reboot is about:

Redesign your site with CSS and web standards in mind and show the entire world all at once just how great accessible, standards design can really be.

And that’s exactly what I’ve always seen it as: a showcase of cracking designs that are proudly produced using solid web standards.

Also, admittedly, it is a great way to get yourself noticed. I’m sure a lot of people who have taken part in the past events will agree – it’s a great way to meet new people and discover new and interesting sites.

A Victim of Success

The Reboot has become hugely popular because of that.

Unfortunately popularity brings problems.

One the best things about the Reboot is that it generates traffic. Tons and tons of traffic for the sites that are featured.

Traffic is a weird thing. People get very hung up about it. It’s like some sort of currency, but one with no real value.

Q: How many hits do you get a month?
A: F**K OFF!

But People see it as the be all and end all of the net.

This brings me to the second problem. There is voting on the Reboot – and with the voting comes ranking – and with a high ranking comes the a truck load of that Fools Gold, traffic

There’s no real problems with the voting and ranking in themselves. The problem is that it’s People who do all the voting and ranking.

Voting and ranking means People get jealous, they get greedy, they cheat – they get generally underhanded.

Buying Space

So Adam’s decided to charge 50 people $25 to guarantee a place on the front page.

These guys are guaranteed traffic by the barrow full, they will not be subjected to the vagaries of the voting system, they won’t be disadvantaged by being named Xavier Zepher by their parents – they just get a piece of prime real estate on a site guaranteed to hundreds of thousands of visits.

Now my problem with this (there is a point to this ramble) is that it goes against the whole ideal of a showcase of accessible web standards.

What if one of the designers who has stumped up the cash produces a site ridden with tables, font tags, flashing animated gifs and God knows what else?

They’ve paid their $25, surely they’re entitled to their space regardless of what the produce?

What if one of them is an evil SEO company, who can just put a spam filled Blogger account up there?

Is there any quality control at all? (I would like to think there is a contract of fair use)

Basically it just seems to go against the whole idea.

It just doesn’t sit right.

The voting last year wasn’t great – I know first hand – but it seems to me to be infinitely more tasteful than charging for places.

At least you could blame People for the voting in past events.

Ho Hum

I haven’t entered this years Reboot. Not for any other reason other than that I’m still fairly happy with what I’ve got (a first, I assure you) and it seems a shame to change it so soon. (Though I am playing with ideas – as always)

I have got my eye on November.

I am not planning on becoming a Premium Rebooter if it ever comes up again. Despite my experience last year, I was very happy with the whole reboot experience as it was. I met some great people, discovered some great new sites and blogs – and I hope people feel that about me.

I think it would be very sad if the original concept was to get too diluted by other factors.

I sincerely hope that logo at the top isn’t telling the future.